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Taco Pasta Salad - A Family Feast

Taco Pasta Salad

Our easy Taco Pasta Salad has seasoned ground turkey, pasta, cheese, a variety of vegetables and black beans, all tossed in a zesty-sweet dressing. Top with fried tortilla strips for extra crunch.

Yield: 10 servings 1x
Prep: 30 minutesCook: 10 minutesTotal: 40 minutes


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 1/4 pounds ground turkey (85/15 fat ratio)

2/3 cup water

1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) taco seasoning mix (any brand or make your own)

12 ounces medium sized pasta such as Cellentani

1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half

1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded on large holes of a box grater

1 cup orange cheddar cheese, shredded on large holes of a box grater

1/2 cup red onion, sliced into short thin pieces

1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced

1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

1/8 to 1/4 cup pickled jalapeno slices (depending on your heat tolerance)

1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped

1 small bag of cooked tortilla strips, for garnish


1/4 cup Catalina Dressing, homemade or store-bought

1/4 cup Taco Sauce, homemade or store-bought


  1. Heat medium skillet over medium high heat with the olive oil. Once hot, add ground turkey and cook until no pink showing.
  2. Add water and taco spice and stir, then cook and stir for five minutes over medium heat.
  3. Cook pasta per box directions, then drain and rinse to cool slightly.
  4. If serving warm, combine hot cooked pasta with hot cooked taco meat and toss. Then add tomatoes, both cheese types, onion, pepper, beans, jalapeno slices and cilantro and toss to combine.
  5. Mix the Catalina dressing with the taco sauce and toss in with the other ingredients. Serve with tortilla strips on top.
  6. If serving cold, chill completely and serve with tortilla strips over the top.
  7. If serving hot, heat everything including dressing in a large pot on the stove until the cheese melts into the salad, then serve hot with tortilla strips over the top.

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© Author: A Family Feast
Cuisine: Mexican Method: saute